Chrisette Michele Chrisette Michele

Vixen Chat: Chrisette Michele Talks New Album, Falling Out of Love and Advice for Wale

Chrisette Michele has the talent to rival Motown’s greatest legends, the respect of superstars like Jay-Z and Beyoncé and a dedicated international fan base yet even she couldn't avoid the pitfalls of love. Lucky for us, the 30-year-old went back into the studio to chronicle how she put her broken heart back together in her fourth studio album Better, a testimony to the power of healing correctly. She credits the power of prayer, therapy and being engulfed by cultures from overseas as the catalyst to putting a lost love in her rearview.

Now, with a renewed relationship with love, her label and even food, Michele sat with Vixen to chat about her new healthy-lifestyle book Fat Vegan, what it means to be a "rich hipster" and why she advised Wale not to cut his dreads. – Gia Peppers


Chrisette Michele

VIBE Vixen: Explain the process of creating your fourth studio album Better?
Chrisette Michele:
The process was quiet. I was still able to be on stage but in my personal time, just wanted not to have to answer to anyone at all, except myself. I took some time out to juice-feast and just get along with myself. I got a lot of answers that way.

Your record was released through a joint deal with Motown and Def Jam. How did that happen?
It came about because Motown got a group of women that I thought were really incredible. We had three black women running a record label and I thought that was really exciting. I decided that I wanted to be apart of that movement, [but]  I am still in the same office with Def Jam.

What do you want fans to take away from this new LP?
I want people to come away with the fact that you can be healed. A lot of times, we don’t know that unless somebody tells us or we see somebody else going through it. People say that it is easier to get through your situation by hearing somebody else’s testimony, so this is me saying, ‘I was broken, and now I’m healed. You can do the same.'

Most of your song content is grounded in love. After heartbreak, how are your so fearless in your approach to it?
A lot of prayer and a whole lot of therapy. I thank God for therapy and for finding the right therapist, because if you don’t talk about it, if you don’t get it out, you don’t know that somebody else has been there.

Are you in love, now?
I’m in love with a person, I’m in love with life, and I’m in love most of all with myself. That feels the best.

That’s so true. So let’s talk more about the album. One of the most talked about tracks is “Rich Hipster.” Can you explain what the term means?
A rich hipster is somebody who is rich in heart, and rich in art. I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn about 2 1/2 years ago, and I really saw myself in other people walking down the street. I saw this desire to be unlike anybody else, to go against the grain, to say no to anything that makes me do what somebody else is doing. The funny part is, we are all doing the same thing. There is this mutual understanding within that community that says, “I’m not going to judge you, I’m going to let you live your life, and I’m going to respect you.  I’m going to let you have a great time and I will celebrate with you.

Chrisette Michele and Wale

VV: Wale is featured on the song. Why do you think you and Wale work so well together?
CM: You know, me and Wale have watched each other go through lots of ups and downs.  We’ve watched each other be afraid in the music industry then overcome those fears. Wale is really great at tapping into lifestyle scenarios and articulating it so that everybody can understand it. From the song “Shades” to “Rich Hipster," I just feel like he always says it the best.

What is the best advice he has given you?
We just push each other to continue to be honest with who we are. I remember right when I was about to shave my head Wale said, 'Man, nobody else got dreads, I don’t look like everybody else. I’m not gonna win with these dreads.' I told him, 'Wale don’t cut off your dreads. They are beautiful.' He kept his dreads and he braided them back for the Ambition album cover. He ended up having a top record, everybody fell in love with him all over again and all he did was be himself.

Both of you tend to go against the norm and are committed to giving your fans quality music. With that being said, what is your view on the mainstream music industry?
The mainstream industry is full of so many things that you can’t comment on it as a whole, but individually, I feel that I was in a very unhealthy space when I gave out my last album. There were a lot of negative sounds, sounds that might have made you sad when you listened to it. It’s not a bad thing to be sad, but I’d rather not be the reason. I want my music to bring you to a place of happiness and peace.

So, how is life now for Chrisette Michele?
I am having fun. I am not worried about if I am underrated or overrated or rated at all. I am just excited to be a singer who travels around the world and touches peoples’ hearts.  That’s it.

Better is in stores and available on iTunes now.

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Trina To Address A&R's Comments About Nicki Minaj On Instagram Live

Trina is ready to address the public about comments from her camp about Nicki Minaj.

Earlier this week, Reginald Saunders, the head of A&R at Trina's label and cousin Bobby Lytes slammed Nicki for not promoting their collaborative single, "BAPS." The song was apart of Trina's album The One released on June 21, which was also the same day as the release for "Megatron."

In Saunders' post about Nicki, he also called out the rapper for heavily promoting her guest feature on Megan Thee Stallion's "Hot Girl Summer" but only sharing "BAPS" for a short amount of time on social media.

"This isn’t the first time @nickiminaj has pulled this stunt and trust me it’s cool," he said. "I can’t get over how fake people can be for a Lil fame, likes and followers. when everyone tried to warn me I still gave her the benefit of the doubt."

On Tuesday (Aug. 14), Trina took to Instagram to let her fans know her plans to address how "BAPS" came about and why a video hasn't been shot.

"First of all, everybody that knows me knows anything I gotta say, I will say it and address it," she said. "I don't need anybody to speak for me. Second of all, everything that I have to say, I will address it tomorrow. So catch me live and I will say it one time and one time only. I will not repeat myself."

During her Queen Radio session on Monday (Aug. 13), Nicki addressed Saunders and said she was prepared to shoot a video to "BAPS" when the song was recorded in 2017. She also had Trina as a guest for Queen Radio at the time of the song's release, making it the most-streamed track on the project.

"I have my own schedule and I also have to worry about what makes not only sense/cents but dollars," she said. "And it's not fair that people don’t understand that. I would never have someone from my team disrespect somebody that has been nothing but real to me.”

 

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A little overwhelmed right now but tomorrow 💙💙

A post shared by katrina (@trinarockstarr) on Aug 13, 2019 at 8:42pm PDT

You can listen to "BAPS" below.

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Amber Rose Cancels 2019 SlutWalk

Amber Rose is in protective mode when it comes to her “energy and peace.” The pregnant mom-to-be announced on Instagram Tuesday (Aug. 13) that she’s making some personal and professional changes, including canceling this year’s SlutWalk.

In the lengthy social media post, Rose vented about cutting off a bunch of friends whom she called “abusive” with some having “toxic personalities,” and drug and alcohol addictions. She also called out her “male friends” for “lying and telling people were were sleeping together,” and put another friend on blast for calling social services on her, twice.

“People may not know this but I’m extremely unproblematic. I don’t start fights. I don’t do drugs. I’m as sweet as pie and constantly get walked all over,” Rose wrote before noting that she’s blessed with a baby on the way and an “amazing man,” in reference to current boyfriend, Alexander “AE” Edwards.

“That’s why I’ve been laying so low during this pregnancy.... no toxicity will be tolerated over here only positive vibes. F**k fake friends and their weirdo s**t. I’d rather just have my family and my team.

“P.S. This is also why I’m not having my SlutWalk this year,” she added. “Sorry I just have to protect my energy and peace.”

The Philly native launched her SlutWalk in Los Angeles in 2015 to honor and celebrate women who have been slut shamed, judged and demeaned for being sexual. In a 2017 interview with VIBE Vixen, Rose described the SlutWalk as her “life’s work.”

“All the money that we ever got for donations [to the Amber Rose Foundation] goes to the actual SlutWalk. We don't have any money left over for the next year. We basically have to start over every year, and it takes a year to put on. That's a misconception, I make no money from the SlutWalks ever! I just put in all my work. It makes me happy, babe, it's my life's work.”

Read Rose’s full Instagram post below.

 

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So me. I stopped being friends with about 20 ppl last year. I’ve had friends steal jewelry and money from me, Sleep with my BF’s behind my back, Male friends lying and telling people we were sleeping together, Alcoholic drug addict friends, Abusive Friends, Toxic Personality friends and I even had a Friend call Social Services on me twice ( For no fucking reason) only to Sue me for calling her and Cursing her out (When I found out it was her) smh That Phone call cost me $168,000... Man, the list goes on you have no idea. The funny thing is I never snitched publicly on anyone. Ain’t that some shit? People may not know this but I’m extremely unproblematic. I don’t start fights. I don’t do drugs. I’m as sweet as pie and constantly get walked all over. I’m so happy God has blessed me with a New Baby and an Amazing Man to help me through all the turmoil. That’s why I’ve been laying so low during this pregnancy.... no Toxicity will be tolerated over here only Positive vibes. Fuck fake friends and their weirdo shit. I’d rather just have my family and my team. P.S This is also why I’m not having my Slutwalk this year.... Sorry I just have to protect my energy and peace - Muva

A post shared by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on Aug 13, 2019 at 9:41am PDT

 

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Fashion Roundup: Beyoncé Drops Nostalgic Merch And H&M To Collab With South African Label Mantsho

August just got a little hotter with two new fashion collections dropping this month.

Beyoncé unveiled her '90s-inspired "BeySearch" Friday (Aug. 9) while H&M is set to unveil their South African collaboration on Thursday (Aug. 15).

Queen Bey surprised fans with new a merch capsule on her official website on Friday afternoon. Fanny packs, bodycon dresses, bucket hats, crop tops, windbreakers, and more are designed with Google searched images that highlight every monumental step her in career.

The aesthetic is to appeal to a "90s teenager's bedroom walls combined with the tidal wave of today's meme culture," as said in a press release.

H&M is to release a legendary collection with the South African brand, Mantsho. Essence reports that the collection will feature edgy African-inspired prints that celebrate the elegance and vibrancy of Africa. Mantsho translates to "black is beautiful" from the native Sesotho language.

Established in 2004, the label has appeared on fashion runways in the U.S., Greece, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Botswana, and Senegal. This will make H&M's first collaboration with a South African brand.

"This is my love letter to the world from Africa," said Mantsho's head of design, Palesa Mokubung. "I hope customers around the world will enjoy this ensemble of my stand-out pieces from my last three collections."

You can shop "BeySearch" here. The latest H&M collection will be available next Thursday (Aug. 15).

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